Premature Baby Beats the Odds with Prayer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/3/02

Premature Baby Beats the Odds with Prayer

Babies are often born before term, but back in July we brought you a story of a little girl born four months premature. She weighed only 13 ounces and her little body was far from developed. To her family and the doctors she is truly a miracle, a blessing they say is here today and still fighting for life thanks to the Power of Prayer.

Kimberly Ann Smerud was born on July 1st, four months before term. Her mother, Samantha had a liver failure which led to an emergency cesarian. "Kimberly has gone through a lot the last three months, she's had the typical complications of an extremely premature child but she has the resilience and the will to live and that has helped along with the Mom's support for this child to survive in this situation," Neonatalogist, Dr. Furtunato Perez said.

Dr. Furtunato Perez says most premature babies have multiple complications in the future, but at this point he does not foresee any problems for Kimberly. "As far as we can tell this baby looks fine, her brain is developing well. She hasn't developed any hemorrhoids or any complications that may impair her neurological development in the future," Dr. Perez said.

To her mom, little Kimberly is perfect. She now weighs almost five pounds and finally got to go home this week. "I feel like I'm real nervous. I've got butterfly's in my tummy because I don't have the nurses right beside me, and I know I'm going to take care of her myself," Samantha McCollum, Kimberly's Mom said.

But Samantha says God has brought them this far and their faith in prayer will keep them strong. "God, and everybody praying for her. She's a fighter. She's real strong and you wouldn't think a little one like this would be real strong, but I feel like she's real strong," McCollum said.

Samantha says Kimberly's pulled through because her family turned it over to God. "I think he listens to who ever wants to talk to him, he plays a really big part in our life now," McCollum said.

"There was something special about this infant at this gestation age and this weight that helped her survive. And I don't know exactly what it was," Dr. Perez said.

Samantha says dad and big brother, Lance are ready for Kimberly to come home.

They expect her to develop like any premature newborn, from this point forward. She will do things as if she was just born not like she is already four months old. Dr Perez says another factor that played a role in Kimberly's development is the equipment and technology available at University Medical Center.

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